Tag: libraries

A library visit

17 August 2012 | In the news

Please come in: National Library of Finland. Photo: Kallerna/Wikimedia

Take a tour: browsing the online bulletin of the Finnish National Library, you’ll find a link (for iPad or other devices) which takes you inside the handsome main building, next to the Cathedral in the heart of Helsinki.

The library building, from 1845, was designed by the most important architect of the city, C.L. Engel.

The latest issue of the library bulletin includes articles on research, conservation and digitisation of the library collections as well as news and pictures.

So many words

25 April 2012 | Articles, Non-fiction

Hagia Sofia, Istanbul: from basilica to cathedral to mosque to museum. Postcard, c. 1914. Photo: Wikipedia/Xenophon

Sacred spaces, repositories of free speech, places of healing? Teemu Manninen awaits the day when libraries become virtual, enabling anybody to visit them, without having to travel across land and sea

The Bodleian Library in Oxford, the Vatican Library, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, New York Public Library, the British Museum Reading Room, the Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura in Rio De Janeiro, the Library of Congress and the National Library of Finland.

What do all of these have in common, except the obvious fact that they are all famous libraries? To put it another way: why are these famous libraries so famous?

It is not because they have books in them, although that has become one of the main tasks of the library system in the modern world. But a library is not simply an archive. If we in the West are a culture of the book – a culture of the freedom of information and expression – then a library is the architectural incarnation of our way of life: a church built for reading. More…